The itinerary was South East Asia, Singapore to Singapore, 14 nights. The ports visited were:
• Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
My cabin was Plaza 209, forward starboard on deck 5 in the OF category, so it had a window but no balcony. When I booked, balcony cabins were sold out. It was a handy location for the International Cafe in the Piazza, and for the Princess Theatre one deck up. I never heard any noise from the theatre, or much noise from anywhere else. There was some mechanical noise arriving and departing from ports but it didn't last long. There was some noise if the waves were up a bit and would smash into the metal hull but you can hear that all over the ship. It felt like a hike from my cabin to the buffet which was deck 14 aft.
If you get seasick this would not be a great cabin as the view is not far above the waterline so you can see the wave movement more clearly than from higher up. Otherwise it is fine apart from the stale smell. As usual the shower was small. A comedian described the shower curtain as 'very friendly'.
Embarkation was at Marina Bay Cruise Centre. There was priority checkin for Captain's Circle members, but that ended as soon as you hit the immigration lines and had to wait along with everyone else to be processed. It wasn't too bad. It probably took about 45 minutes to get onboard. My bag arrived promptly and I was unpacked long before sailaway.
Nha Trang, Vietnam – this was a tender port using the ship’s lifeboats. I took the Princess shore excursion to Ponagar Cham Towers, Long Son Pagoda and the embroidery workshop. It cost $80 for 5 hours. The tour ticket said to expect crowds and that was certainly correct. It was close to lunar New Year and there were a lot of tourists from China on vacation in Nha Trang, as well as lots of people from the ship. I have no idea how many of the Chinese were from Wuhan! Princess had attempted to stagger the arrival of passengers at the sites but bad traffic messed up that attempt. I’m still glad I went on the excursion but it was crowded and I felt like I didn’t get to see as much of everything as I would have liked. At the pagoda one passenger managed somehow to get into an argument with a local vendor who was yelling that the passenger hadn’t paid him. I saw the passenger give him a whole fistful of US dollars so I am not sure what that was about. Also at the pagoda, we had been clearly told in advance to wear long pants, no tank tops, no short skirts etc, but still there were passengers wrongly dressed, showing their knees or shoulders (or both) and therefore not allowed to go into the temple by the guards. So make sure you follow the dress code if you are going on a tour to any temples. We stopped at the Nha Trang market as well, which was interesting. Also the embroidery was pretty but again the workshop was too crowded to be able to see much and also it kind of felt like it might be a sweat-shop where the people making the profits out of the tourists are not the ladies sitting there diligently doing the delicate embroidery.